Stories

Dear God, does there have to be a conspiracy theory about everything? I have seen suggestions today that Sauber deliberately DIDN’T win in Malaysia. To my mind, that is absurd. A young driver drove his heart out and made a mistake when he pushed too hard. The team not only wanted to win, but it needed to win as well as its budget needs topping up this year and the fastest way to get money in F1 is to win. The suggestion that an ambitious driver like Sergio Perez would give away his first chance of a win is a horrible thing to suggest, and I cannot see any evidence to support such a claim. It is also pretty insulting for the team, which is one of the most honest of all in the sport.

Media sensationalism of this kind is such that reputations mean nothing, which I think is a great shame.

There is also a very silly attempt going on to turn the recent Force India/Aerolab decision into something it is not. If you read the pages of pages of well-reasoned and sensible argument from the judgement there really is no reason to argue with his decision. I have yet to meet an F1 journalist who was smarter than a High Court judge, although I have met one or two who are deluded enough to think that they are. If Force India appeal the decision, good luck to them, but I fear that all that will come out of it are more legal bills.

In both cases I cannot see any evidence that there is a real story to be told. Still, one might argue that it will attract readers…

103 thoughts on “Stories

  1. I notice you are slightly more polite about these conspiracy theorists than Will Buxton was, but the sentiment is the same. Good to know that this sort of nonsense is treated with the derision it deserves by most of those who know what they’re talking about.

  2. I believe Sauber just wanted Sergio not to make any more mistakes and bring the car home safe in second place. You’re right that the financial aspect was very impotant and I’m sure that Sergio would have passed Alonso had he had the chance. Ferrari engined or not!

    1. let’s be honest: Alonso would have made it diff for a beginner like Perez to pass him. I’d say unlikely. Likewise Maldonado came acropper chasing him in Oz.
      I’m looking forward to battles with the guys who CAN pass Alonso if they have a faster car to play with: Kimi, Vettel, Button, Webber, Hamilton.

      1. Before the days of DRS I would agree that Perez would be unlikely to make a pass. However, preventing perez from getting by if he entered the front straight close on his tail would have meant having to essentially put him off the road. Besidess, Perez is not a rookie.

  3. Wholeheartedly agree Joe. I think we could see a Sauber on the podium again perhaps if we have another wet race. That car looked superbly balanced.

  4. Your last line pretty much sums up “modern press”, and its the reason why I refer to your blog rather than, for example, the BBC where the aim seems to be to sensationalise things and unnecesarily provoke situations….childish really.

  5. Yes, the interweb has been in flames with these kind of implications; doesn’t even merit the term “story”.

    Why F.I. would pursue an appeal on this is almost as ludicrous as the legal steps Eddie Jordan took against Vodaphone a few years back. Hopefully they take the legal ass whoopin’ they deserve if they do.

  6. Well said.
    Now days pseudo journalists love to make up stories in hope of increasing readership, shame.
    Joe, you are a rare breed in extinction!

  7. Not to talk you up too much, but the principal reason why I enjoy your blog coupled with your experience etc, etc, is the fact you are fearless when telling it how it is. Forget egos and PR flunkies and the douchebags who don’t attend the races yet still trot out garbage and call it news, you dish up this sort of retort and I reckon it’s fantastic!

  8. I think F1 has only itself to blame for these never-ending conspiracy theories. For the record, I DON’T think Sauber/Perez deliberately forfeited the win, despite the link with Ferrari.

    I think that in the past people wouldn’t have jumped to these conclusions. Why would they? But in recent years, with all the shady characters, spying, concealing team orders and everything else (that I’m sure has been going on since time immemorial but only in the last few years has the casual fan become so aware of it) it’s hardly suprising.

    I forget sometimes that not every fan is like me/us; reading blogs like Joe’s, never missing a session on TV, reading the magazines, listening to podcasts, etc. Many fans (I cite my own friends) catch a handful of races each season and get their information on the sport from the (British) newspapers; unfortunately the goings-on of people like Briatore, Mosley et al. do help to sell newspapers and I think have tarnished whatever reputation the sport had.

    Many of the more prolific characters have now gone but people still find it easier to believe the conspiracy theories than accept what’s in front of them because unfortunately their faith in sportsmanship has been slowly eroded. And it takes time to rebuild. Such a shame.

  9. Don’t know who or where the Sauber/Ferrari conspiracy started but, in my opinion, no other country’s affection for conspiracies rivals that of Italy’s.

    1. dante,
      The commentators on Sky didn’t wait 5 seconds after Perez’s car touched the grass to start the conspiracy regarding Perez, Sauber and Ferrari. Where would those fine upstanding gentlemen be from?

      Joe, have you been in hiding? The Sauber/Ferrari conspiracy theory came out on Sunday during the race. It’s been festering all week. I found it completely disgraceful of those fine gentlemen working for Sky to actually question Peter post race on Sunday while he was basking in the glow of accomplishment of his driver. They made the accusations then asked him to refute them.

      1. That’s not quite true – they started the Ferrar/Sauber conspiracy ball rolling the second the message to Perez was relayed, long before he went off.
        That Perez went off the track is neither here nor there – if he had thrown the race, that is not the manner in which he would have done it.

        Despite some of the ‘holier-than-thou” comments on here about how silly it would be to think that Ferrari would ask Sauber not to pass, it’s not exactly beyond the realms of possibility, is it? It’s not tinfoiled fantasy, given that certain parties have previous for this kind of thing.

        Personally I don’t think there’s anything in it. Sauber know their driver, Monisha Kaltenborn described Perez as something along the lines of ‘excitable’ before the restart, so it doesn’t really surprise me.

      2. “The commentators on Sky didn’t wait 5 seconds after Perez’s car touched the grass to start the conspiracy…Joe, have you been in hiding?”

        See what you miss by actually going to the races, instead of just watching them on TV as so many of your “colleagues” do? 😉

        1. @Peter,
          Liked the sarcasm mate and I agree. While I often disagree with Joe’s opinion at least I know while reading his blog that he has arrived at his opinion while researching in the pits and paddock, Joe has a pass to the pits. However other websites who do not have a pitpass sprout crap.

          I guess the problem is that shock jock journalism is easier than real research? So it’s up to us readers to support the real thing i.e. subscribe.

          regards,

  10. Occurred to me that the more you debunk the nonsense, Joe, the more you’ll be on the receiving end! Maybe just point Blog Rules to an online Bible, and finally the penny will drop . .

    I jest. But the FI appeal is a charity appeal, not a real appeal. They undoubtedly want to haggle costs. I always thought it insane that a losing party who obviously either lost for good reason and or hired people not worth their wages, might be able to ask for costs to be “taxed” i,e, reassessed, against the winner. I do see the argument when it is an individual up against a massive company who will simply buy out all the good counsel on retainer, try to make artificial hurdles with a wall of money, but for grown adults in commerce? Nahh.

    Perez drove beautifully, I am amazed anyone would slur such a hearty performance. Shame on who does.

    1. I should add that the commercial Bar creates of itself a virtual “wall of money” obstacle. Self censorship, through desire not to offend big spenders, does the trick all on its own. I have witnessed perversions of logic, bald statements contrary to the law, even from who sought my business, in almost every field civil and criminal. I have won rulings simply by writing the judge which I was advised by friend’s counsel was impossible (causing distress such my friend, his home at stake, ran from court and didn’t find out for days he was saved because he was hiding in misery) and I assure you, who was paid that day, didn’t advocate a whit.

      On the subject of the little man trying to make an impression, if you read nothing else not to do with F1 this year, please read Jim Grant’s address to the Federal Reserve. Copied below, it is both a joyous and sad speech, and reminds me poignantly of why I once delved the on request libraries of the Corporation of London:

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/must-read-jim-grant-crucifies-fed-explains-why-gold-standard-best-option

  11. A strange post. Trying to get even, eh?

    Judges tend to seem wise when one agrees
    with their verdict…

    Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how the FIA handles this.

      1. Well, yes. I complimented you on your latest post on Bahrain, for instance. Apologies if my grumpiness seems out of place.

  12. Thanks for your thoughts on this, Joe. The saddest thing about this, IMHO, is that had it been a Force India which failed to beat a McLaren (to name a possible situation, although there might be more similar ones), hardly anyone would claim that Mallya threw away the win so as not to upset McLaren. It’s a disgrace that many people just can’t ignore a chance to bash Ferrari.

    I understand that Ferrari have made many things over their history which haven’t made them likeable for most people, but even so, it is totally distasteful to see how some people just won’t refrain from taking a dig at them every now and then.

    1. The difference is that when McLaren supply Force India with technology, they don’t put in place a Veto in all FIA/Foca negotiations as Ferrari does and has on and off for the last 15 years with Sauber.

  13. There was absolutely no reason for the Sauber pit wall to tell Perez that he needs to be careful. It was a stupid thing to tell him at a point in the race when he had such an incredible speed advantage over the leader ( i can understand if it were a tenth of a second and they were battling for 5 laps). Perez was going to ruin both of their races by taking Alonso out. Sauber deserve the conspiracy theories because they should have realized that the message could have been INTERPRETED this way before relaying the message.

    1. WHAT! How does Sauber ‘deserve’ a conspiracy theory because of the irrational ways in which outsiders have interpreted their radio transmissions? It is not Saubers fault that people are stupid.

      It was a completely sensible thing to tell a young driver who is about to be on the podium for the first time in his Formula One career. What may seem like an obvious thought to you and me: “be careful”… could easily be lost in his mind during the best drive of his life yet! Emotions that you and I can’t contemplate. You try to give that extra push because you are riding a wave of confidence. That is when mistakes happen. It was a simple reminder to Perez while in unfamiliar territory. How does “be careful” translate to “risk yourself, the car, and the points by going off”. Stupid, stupid nonsense is what it is.

      On a personal level… if I was signed to a Ferrari driver development project… what better way to let them know you are right for their team then by beating their best driver. It is an excellent development experience and would probably impress… not offend Ferrari. And even if you were told not to, and he still won… they would have their hands tied as a team. Assuming it was a legal win and did not challenge the regulations in any way… how do you punish a driver for winning a race under those circumstances? If you did… people would see through that BS in a hearbeat.

      None of it adds up. No way in hell Sauber would have held back a win just to lay down for Ferrari.

  14. Clearly the radio message on the TV coverage was what prompted such suggestions, but context is everything and we don’t have the full context. We heard one message out of maybe 100-or-so that Perez will have received during the race, for all we know the other 99 were urging him to pass the Ferrari. He spent several laps within a few tenths of Alonso and was never able to pass. At this point the team will fear the 21 year old could do something rash so they gave him a more calming message. The fact he went off shortly after the message shows that the team read the situation perfectly, they know better than anybody if the driver is on the edge of the car’s abilities. There are certainly easier ways to stay in second place than riding a kerb and coming within inches of getting stuck in a gravel trap!

  15. This story is almost worthy of the Daily Panic (Express) a newspaper of which during wartime the editor would certainly have been shot for causing alarm and despondency. To be fair I have to say that today for the first time in many months it has a responsible headline telling people not to panic buy fuel, a 180 degree reversal of it’s headline a few days ago. (we have a situation over here Joe, well we don’t actually, but we might, so lets panic just in case)

    The most likely explanation for Perez going off is that he was in the zone, driving out of his skin on automatic reflex, everything flowing exactly right, a dream coming true, almost a trance and then the radio broke his concentration. When you slow down your brain goes from 100% to 60% because it seems so easy and slow that you don’t need pay attention, then you go off. It happened most prominently to Senna at Monaco. Perez however immediately resumed at full tilt and never put a wheel wrong thereafter. Good luck to him for the future, I hope he is a good negotiator.

    Joe explained the Force India/Aerolab/Caterham judgement a few days ago perfectly adequately, so I cannot understand why anyone would want to take it further. Unless VJ is desperate enough really to think he can screw some more money out of somebody why go back to court? Nowadays, there’s always the euro court unfortunately. I blame Tony Blair.

    1. Good point with the Senna similarity at Monaco! If the barriers at Sepang were on the edge of the track like Monaco… Perez would have suffered an end to his race.

    2. Indeed, it is a scientifically documented fact that once you begin thinking about not messsing up your mind starts hindering muscle memory (aka the zone). It’s why someone can make 100 consecutive free throws, but with the game on the line will miss two in a row. I always get nervous when I hear the team tell the driver to pull it back, unless it’s like they’re in the lead by 40 seconds and can literally putt around.

  16. Well done Joe, it’s about time that someone wrote some sense concerning the Perez off at Sepang ..Conspiracy my arse!

  17. Joe,
    The difference between second and first is only seven points which surely can’t be worth much money to a midfield team and the publicity of winning … well who cares anyway. Nah a mid-field team would throw that away like toilet paper.

    regards,

    1. @Build,
      At the end of last season, 4 points separated 5th and 6th in the Constructors’ Championship, while 3 points split 7th and 8th.

      The backbone of Renault’s run to 5th was build on two early season podiums, followed by diminishing results as the season aged.
      Sauber’s meagre resources may mean they’ll be caught and passed in the development race by Mercedes and Lotus. I can certainly foresee their opportunity for big points decreasing as the season ages.

      So yes, the difference in those 7 points could be mammoth. Then again, 18 points coming in 2nd is far better than 0 points in the gravel trap due to a manoeuvre gone wrong, irrespective of what the romantics believe.

          1. Toilet paper might have been a hint 🙂

            I wonder if Joe might inform us what a single point is worth? The first is the most valuable but after that they still amount to huge sums. Although I not sure that anyone except the signatories to the concorde knows the exact value.

            Warmest regards,

        1. I thought that was blatantly obvious. Perhaps not 🙂

          I agree with Joe the it is ridiculous to suggest Sauber would throw away points.

          regards,

  18. Joe,
    I can bet you that an appeal by Force India is an attempt to delay paying anyone, anything and nothing to do with the merits of the case. I doubt there is any spare cash around Force India to pay anyone and a delay for an appealm even if it has no legs, is better from a cash flow position.

    As for Perez, sure would have been a headline if he had have taken it to Alonso and won, but the kid did a damn good job and I suspect he will get to duel with Alonso as a team mate before too long! I hope he wins that and does not get knocked into number two driver mode. Your correct the moment got to him before, he got to Alonso. Shame, a real shame, that we did not get to see what he could do for a race pass on a good driver in a (at least for now) sorry car! That would have been a great race moment.

  19. Well spoken. I have massive respect for Peter Sauber — a man, not in the first flush of youth — who had the guts to take over the team again when BMW quit F1. He could have remained in retirement counting his wealth, but as a sportsman he chose to risk it. I look forward to the day when a Peter Sauber car wins a GP.

    1. While I think Peter Sauber is one of the best guys in F1, I believe he was given back the team at a significantly discounted price with the added value of tens if not hundreds of millions in added infrastructure from BMW. So, in the end it is not unlikely he could see a windfall profit.

  20. Attracting readers and attracting new fans is what Formula One needs…
    Joe, are you doing anything to attract the Chinese audience?

    1. Joe,
      What i mean is, is there the Chinese equivalent of a Joe Saward in China?To grow Formula One fruitfully in China, someone needs to explain to the growing Chinese audience how Formula One works…
      all the best
      p

        1. A good reason why blokes like Joe could mentor their new Asian colleagues?

          A good idea I reckon.

          regards,

  21. Perez clearly drove his heart out in Malaysia and did all he could to win the race. It would have been fantastic to see him take the victory, but he showed his class nonetheless. Also pleased to see Senna get a good result. New blood to the fore!

    1. Agree completely about Senna. It’s a shame that his story has gotten rather lost in the past few days, but it is worth pointing out that he drive was top level stuff.

        1. I was very privileged to be an observer when Bruno raced in the F3 race in Melbourne a few years back and I was very impressed by his professional approach. I suspect we will see Bruno move forward.

          regards,

          1. I think he is an intelligent and humble driver. I believe it’s merely a question of whether the talent is there rather than dedication.

            1. Agree with Joe. As one of Ayrton’s legions of fans, there’s nothing that would excite me more than to see Bruno on the podium; better still on the top step. Dedication is there in plenty and yes, there’s that ‘presence’ to his demenour. Just a question of whether the ultimate talent is there that’s required to get results in F1; that quality that separates the brilliant from the very good. For me, in that respect only, the jury’s ‘still out’ and I’m far from convinced his ultimate ability at the very top level. It’s my fault for expecting too much from the iconic surname I guess. I’d love to be proved wrong though.

  22. Personally I don’t think there was any conspiracy.

    But……

    …there are precedents in Ferrari issuing team orders, as well as a proven situation of race fixing via intentionally crashing a car (Renault). So you can see where people are making the connection, real or not.

    Oh yes, then there was that sudden and amazing surge in form of Vettel and the Toro Rossos at the end of the season a couple of years ago. Do you think they were slipped the factory-spec Ferrari engines instead of the customer versions?
    Another conspiracy!

    Nice to see some of the other teams-Sauber, Williams and Force India-put in a result. Hope it keeps up.

  23. Do I believe Sauber (in total) deliberately allowed Alonso the win? No.
    Will I be surprised if evidence later comes to light that they did? No.

    Though a lot of theories are utter pap, If someone had suggested Piquet Jr. crashed deliberately, they would have been dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist”. I’m sure at some point Woodward and Bernstein were thought of the same.

    1. No, if you read what I wrote at the time, I pretty much said it had happened, without actually saying it, because libel laws mean you have to prove what you say. So one has to hedge and hint. Read it here.

      1. Hadn’t seen that race report before, brilliantly done Joe! A masterpiece of saying what really happened while staying within the libel laws, especially the throw away comment,”it will be interesting to see wether he gets a new contract for 2009″. Superb.

      2. Actually, you are fairly well covered by holding a genuine belief, under libel. Defamation would have been the possibly stronger suit. Without hindsight at all, I couldn’t imagine either succeeding. That is not to say defence would not be painfully expensive. Not me, but a friend has a long and storied history winning libel both claimant and defence. Big money, really truly big money, caused the only stand down. They’re my editor on a project now 😉

        Off to read again that race report!

        1. and to add the test in NY is even higher, malicious intent required. (hence the permanent move to London for all of this) In E&W law you only need proof if you claim a fact. You would have had to clearly write something like “Nelson Piquet Jnr. threw his race to benefit his team under orders.” as opposed to “If I was a cynical man, I’d have to say it looks like Nelson Piquet Jnr. threw his race to benefit his team under orders.” Just re-read those two sentences a few times to feel the difference. I sometimes think our courts have become expert at libel law because it’s such fun for the judges.

      3. Clever stuff Joe; first I’ve seen of this although remember the whole sorry episode well enough! Will have to read all your blogs very carefully in the future (not that I don’t do so at the moment!)

  24. The Ferrari/Sauber consipiracy is just a fantasy. The Sauber is fast and I salute them.

    As far as the Force India, Malaysia 1, and Aerolabs….. I frankly don’t understand it completely and I won’t even try because I will get a headache and have to have a cocktail……

    Keep up the good work Joe……

  25. I can understand why some people think it as it just seemed strange to hear Sauber telling their charging driver to just take the points when him taking the lead looked a sure thing. I was dying to see him take Alonso so to hear that call seemed strange. What with the Ferrari link the theories are bound to take hold. I dont think there is truth in it, but im not surprised this has come up. What a great drive from Perez, top bloke.

    1. In the situation of an established driver challenging Alonso (any of the other 5 W.C.’s) it would seem out of place.

      In the context of a young developing driver challenging for his first podium finish with a team that is on the verge of much needed points… it seems very understandable.

      Just my take on it. That is why I can’t understand it. Unless these people are watching Formula One for the first time in their lives… then I can understand it.

  26. Maybe there are conspiracy theorists because people have seen Ferrari tell Rubens to move aside, and Felipe to do the same thing (“can you confirm that you understood that message?”). We’ve also seen Nelson Piquet stage a crash to basically throw a race, under team principal’s orders. So, in that context, the ridiculous becomes possible.

    Perez would never have spun on purpose. But the fact that people believe he did says a lot about attitudes towards F1.

      1. OK, Love to hear that comment explained Joe, as to what exactly has changed at Ferrari post Barrichello? I can think of three key figures that are different from when Barrichello was there. two of them are now employees of Mercedes and the third is at the FIA. But they were all gone when Masa was told he was slower which was not a feature of your comment? So what is different in this era at Ferrari? Can’t see much difference as a compleate outsider so you must have a different take????

        1. Ruebens and Schumacher raced for the same team. It did not matter to Ferrari who finished in the points… because they are all the same points for Ferrari. All of these scenarios that you and Scott B have mentioned take place within the same team.

          Perez does not drive for Ferrari. He drives for Sauber. Two completely different teams. Regardless of engine supplier or development programs… the fact is the teams are different.

          This is a completely different scenario.

  27. Can’t say anything other than the fact that I agree 100%. A rare opportunity to win a race and beat the might of Ferrari, McLaren etc? A young driver with, maybe, his one and quite possibly only chance ever to stand on the top step of the podium? To throw it all away? You have to be joking!

  28. Had Perez won everybody would have said that the Ferrari was not competitive, chasing Alonso to the finish forcing him to use all his skill made much more of an impact than a win.

  29. I don’t believe any conspiracy theory that Perez would throw away a win. That might have disappointed Ferrari but there’s no question he’d have taken it if he could. Ferrari would respect anyone catching alonso even if it stressed the2012 Ferrari team.

    I think the problem is that f1 is so utterly corrupt behind the scenes that fixes and conspiracy theories become far too easy to believe. This one I think is rubbish but there are always some that I consider giving some of the shady dealings that hold f1 together these days.

    1. Exactly! Perez beating Alonso would have been a delicious result for Ferrari in my honset opinion. With Perez being the product of a Ferrari development program, it shows that he has what it takes to be the next man in a red suit. It means they have a great replacement for their struggling #2 that might be better than their already awesome #1. It shows their investment was a solid one. That is hardly a bad thing.

  30. Perez wasn’t told not to win, he was programmed not to, because you see he’s actually an android switched in for the real Perez by the Illuminati and FEMA.

    If you need me I’ll be in my basement making a new tinfoil hat to keep the alien mind rays at bay.

  31. There are bound to be conspiracy theories in F1 because most of the fans are over-excitable children (by no means all of whom are under 18). It’s obvious to anybody who stops to think that throwing the car off the road is the last thing Perez would have done if he had decided to settle for second. That way, he risked losing all his points in the gravel trap (and he came very close). If he wanted to settle for second, all he needed to do was slow down slightly – no risk in that. The real story is more likely the opposite, that maybe he went off because he was ignoring the team’s advice to be careful.

    The Force India non-story is all about the state of F1 media. Because they haven’t got the wit to write anything themselves, they are desperate for anything to publish, even if it’s the most piffling press release, preferably hyping it up a bit as they do so. If they didn’t publish piffle and hype things up, they’d have nothing.

    I don’t agree with everything you write Joe, but I like it that you write it yourself and that you shoot from the hip. But above all, I’m amazed by how prolific you are. We see a huge number of words every day, and on top of that you do more research than anybody else. I honestly don’t know how you keep it up, and maintain such high standards on top of the volume too, but I’m very grateful that you do.

  32. nicely put Joe. Anyone suggesting Perez gave it away has got rocks in their head. If he ends up in a Ferrari – I suspect this might give the conspiracy theorists something more to speculate about ??

  33. I can’t WAIT until the next race. This is going to go down in the short history of F1 as the most fascinating Grand Prix year ever. Finally after years of drudgery – F1 may deserve it’s term, ‘Grand’ Prix.

    Ferrari can only benefit by a strong surge in results by Sauber – not be hurt by it.

    Telling the kid to slow a bit was the engineers in Sauber having ALL the information from their data that the press and public don’t have and using it wisely. They have hundreds of sensors that show all sorts of conditions such as wheel spin, tire lock up, car stability etc.

    Conspire all they want (the press) – the engineering talent at Sauber knows whats best for their young rookie. Actually, were they not proven correct when he went grass cutting for a spell?

  34. Perez isn’t too hard to undetstand, just look at Senna destroying the field at Monaco and then got a message to slow down, he crashed off (which Perez would have done barriers littered the track in Malaysia), and his teammate and 4 times WDC Prost went on to win.

    1. Um… Did you watch Monaco 1988? That’s a bit of a mis-representation of what actually happened. The message from the team to Senna not to push too hard has to be seen in the context of the race. Senna had a comfortable lead from the start with Prost stuck behind Berger’s Ferrari. When Prost did finally overtake Berger he was 30/40 seconds behind but started banging in some quick laps to try and unsettle Senna. Senna responded instinctively and started going faster and faster until he pushed too hard and put the car into the armco at Portier. Beforehand the team had rather sensibly pointed out to Senna that Prost was a long way behind and there was no need to push too hard. No conspiracies or any manipulation of the race by the team. Just a clever tactical play by Prost and then Senna’s instinctual response which lead to him crashing out…

  35. For sauber/perez deliberetly not to win is an insult and for force india/ aerolab, well what a mess, as you said, all that will come out of it is more heavier leagal bills, and they don’t come cheap…

  36. I read an ‘analysis’ of the Force India/Aerolab judgement (which the writer seemed determined to turn in a Force India/Lotus dispute without much reference to the nuances of the case), and one of the opening lines was effectively that “judges don’t understand F1”. Well that may or may not be the case, but they do understand THE LAW. A few cherry-picked lines from the judgement later, and a journalist had basically decided that Force India were going to win on appeal (and why they are choosing to appeal a case they claimed to have won is beyond me). Journalists need to remember that they are neither lawyers nor judges, and trial by the apparent subtext of an article on a website is helpful for nobody; except perhaps, as you said already, Joe, only in terms of readership figures…

  37. “Sergio, Fernando is faster than you, today”… sorry, could not help myself. A very similar occurrence happened in Spa except it would be very unfair to compare Massa with Luca Badoer and Fisi with Perez. Right, where is that tin hat, I need to fill it up with petrol.

  38. I don’t known if Perez let Alonso in the Ferrari win the Malaysiam Gran Prix (I seriously doubt it).

    What I do known for certain is that if he did let Alonso win he’s finished as an F1 driver already. Like Ron Dennis alway’s said, you show me a happy loser and I will show you a loser.

  39. in a perverse way perez WAS the winner , did just as much for his reputation as if he HAD passed alonso

    pretty clear though that he was giving it all , so why would anyone be surprised that his team told him to take the money ….having watched a williams driver throw the points away in an analagous position their caution was more than understandable

    and if he had passed , think of the headlines ….perez wins race by ignoring team instructions , claims temporary radio failure

    in any case , if anyone thinks he would not have won if he could irrespective of any instruction needs their head looking at , the fact that peter sauber knows that better than anyone is surely the most telling argument against any conspiricy , he wouldn’t have wasted his breath

  40. Joe, as you referred in the article “the fastest way to get money in F1 is to win.”, does it mean teams get something for every win registered OR win nearly makes sure to secure higher place in the constructor and hence more money?

    1. I think it could be a little of both. Obviously the championship is the big pot… but sudden wins by a team like Sauber may give sposors more reason to open their wallets.

      1. If a team wins the race, then they get a sum of money from the sponsors of that race. Depends on the deal the driver has with the team as to how much they get of the winner’s cheque.
        The points from the win and all the other points a team picks up during the year, Bernie pays out a sum of money to the team. (More points more money) Plus of course you get free travel – movement of the team’s equipment for the fly away races.
        The final amount of money a team gets from the win is from the corp. – team sponsors who will pay out a basic sum for sponsorship on the car and drivers. But a nice clause in the contract means that if they win that race, then the sponsors has to kick in an additional amount, but in return that sponsor will get a load of free marketing & brand exposure in the global Newspapers and TV news & sports shows coverage of the race. This alone is worth many millions of free advisement, plus it raises the sponsor’s profile, alone with that of the team and driver.

        The teams profile with the win means that the cost to be associated with that team also raises, hence an increase in having your name – logo on the car or driver. It is like having a wining TV show, the rate card that the station puts out mean if you want to advertise during that show it will cost you a lot more.
        That I believe is what Joe means by making money, the fastest way in F1.

        Look at other major sports, and the stars make a lot more from winning and the clause in there sponsorship contracts, than just been a player, unless you’re a very beautiful lady driver or tennis player, with very little wins to your name.

  41. Well, of course we aren’t privy to all communications between the pit wall and a driver, but telling Checo to “be careful” by framing it with the points argument was (at best) pretty much redundant and a distraction. The FOM people were also clearly playing devils’ advocates by highlighting that very message on air, make what you will of it.

    Information that would’ve been of use to the driver: That he was consistently reeling in the leader by an average of a second per lap (despite tyres degrading) and would’ve caught him with many laps to spare. “You’re the one driving the race.” No need to push the limit where it’s tricky, much less for desperate attempts, but a clear shot can be taken if it presents itself: Given how Ferrari is trending (especially on the long term) they can’t sneer at any points either.

    Those Santander cheques may be big, but not blanking big.

    Meanwhile, maybe Mrs. Kaltenborn and Kamui should call some choice people at Minato to make instructive enquiries, if only give Slim a chance to show the breadth of his commitment to achieve success with this team.

  42. While I do not believe that Sergio Perez would voluntarily give up a chance to get his first win, I do not blame the media for running with the conspiracy theory. Ferrari and F1 have no one to blame but themselves for this type of publicity.

    Not that they care, they just make the rules up as they go as it is…..

  43. We had some disgruntled ex-Sauber driver claiming in the press that he had to hold up – I think – Villeneuve, so that Scumacher could win the championship. It was the race which eventually led to Schumacher loosing his points because he crashed into Villeneuve. The Sauber driver only came with his story very recently.
    So what would you think was on my mind when Perez was closing on Alonso? And more so when the radiomessage was shared with us?
    Ridiculous? Tinfoilhat? Conspiracy?
    Yes to all.
    But you can’t argue there’s NO story at all here, these theories are wrong, but of course there is a story!

      1. Apparently there is. We’re commenting on it.
        Seriously, I’ve been pondering this since I read your article: isn’t a talking point, or public discussion a story in itself? I’m not the best in English, but that’s what I meant.

  44. If you sit down and read the whole transcript of the court case on the Force India – AeroLab – Lotus, and it will take you a good hour to get through, then one has to wonder why Force India even attempted this case.
    I have over 30 years of reading and dealing with 2nd and 3rd party contracts, no I am not a Solicitor, but if I was the Principle / CEO of Force India, I surely would not waste my senior Managements time and very limited resources to bring this case.
    More info – data is moved between teams with Engineers and Drivers changing teams, than anything this court case has claimed to have happen.
    We see in the legal, financial industry the same sort of movement of key people and clients between firms, but for a lot more money than anything two back of the grid teams would win in sponsorship or race winnings.
    What it does show, that the people running Force India, have lost touch with reality, and have got involved with trying to be a bunch of clever micro managers, and not looking at the bigger – wider picture of how to run and develop the team.
    As for Aerolab, it appears they have behaved extremely professional in all aspects of this, and put up with a lot from Force India, who been very economical with the truth of their funding and paying of bills.

    As for Force India, from what was presented in court and the judge’s summary statement, I would be looking to move on a few of them, as they surely haven’t preformed to a level that I would expect or find acceptable, given there their profession.
    As for an appeal, I would tell them to draw a line in the sand and move on. No sponsor is going to touch you, if you keep on going to court with a case that even in the best will in the world you had no better than a 30 – 70 chance of ever winning.
    One final thing, it appears that Force India has deposit a sum of money in an escrow account to cover the AeroLab bill before the trail even started.

      1. About who may want to write, Joe: if you lead the way, expect others to emulate you. I reckon all writers in every field always wanted to cut their teeth against the best. You just make yourself accessible. Unlike how you grew into it, they can come with a “handle” and a email address, maybe not even a valid one, but they are coming. Take that as a nice thing, please. It’s a happy function of what you are doing. Though i’d still say the best entree to writing is “go read the rest Joe wrote”, if someone cares to scribble about the races, even in comments. I’ll freely admit even my own quite personal style has been influenced by yours, and that is over nothing to do with F1, but rather how i see other subjects more clearly now. No harm done I hope. Let a few more come up to the plate. I did, and that was the nicest thing which happened to me in years i can politely say about here without getting personal.

  45. May I put this here, becausew it is generic but scribbled for a earlier FI discussion?

    The original context was how much it takes to maintain a blog, who benefits, and obviously my view as to why when things work they are precious. I badly wanted to explain to someone a more positive view. Sadly, that person, who really didn’t charm anyone nor try to, won’t know it’s for him. But anyway . .

    = =

    In a rational world, you should be getting a cut of my connexion fees. Based on my online time reading (okay, browser lingering on your site) that – set against real media sub costs – ought to be a quid or two a month. Sounds little, and not proportionate to my actual time here but to my percent of having your pages open, as i like to read all the comments – but there is no reason it could not be done, and that is not implausible under a reform delivery model.

    This is the *sole* area where I detract from the truly sensible movements in internet freedom. Because I favor copyright, just in the simpler fashion it was intended for.

    I think it is nuts a company can charge me just to be able to see Joe’s writing. Said by me before too many times, you publish a newspaper and pay for the home delivery and charge nout. Not a great deal.

    Making money by translating all this interest into sales is not the easy peasy so called SEOs assume. I priced the cut from the ISP at close to GP+ subs, and that would be a high cut given the margins an ISP works on. But there is no great transformation between lots of commentary on Joe’s blog, and his sales income. Possibly it even feeds the minds of Joe’s competitors. That one I worry about. Can be effective, e.g. a certain person got syndicated a lot less after they showed they had very little clue in business, but it can be also a loss, because it is tossing plums at the hungry man who scrumps your apple tree.

    Making money online, even for true writers – especially for them – is extremely hard. Obviously, I propose other things, printed, that’s my first love. But really, if I could suss where the online game is fair, I’d be in. I am not ignorant, merely uninspired by how it went. Started pretty good, though. You will hear those pioneering names a lot more I think in the next few years, as we trade away our political liberties for a hill of burocratic beans.

    I don’t think it is fair, because the whole business is still barely a fraction of all advertising spend. That means a few niche players. Google obviously, control the market. Systematic Internalizer.

    Never in history did markets work with so few participants. I argue the ad market is not a market, despite a dear beloved pal who is supposed to cash out monstrous for his ad trading company, said everything i predicted came true. He missed the point, I meant open markets, not the ability simply to trade against a rigged house. The smart guys at adsense could only start a market because they knew how to rig one. Like a locksmith, they could booth secure and enter, but they didn’t care for intellectual openness. For what it’s worth I studied the loopholes they avoid being regulated by for years, supposed benefit me. They are pretty simple, until you get to my above words, an internalizer. The problem is that definition requires a lot of words and is very arguable. But it is comparable to Bunker Hunt trying to buy a silver mine so he could exceed trading limits since futures are regulated to limits for who does not sell in line of business. That is the very same how Google operates, and in a totally other and infinitesimal way, how I time to time operate a trade.

    That’s despite the graphic I linked once here with so many names and logos in the online ad game, because they all go back to a few groups. Every successful market which has not been subsequently governed by the new money ethos of central banking – control the rates for the few – has required many participants. I am now waffling about structural problems why advertising is not fairly spread to where it will be seen and useful. There is not much reason, recently, why you need a phalanx of sales jockeys. Not for an individual publication. But it suits most buyers to use computational efficiencies for expanding their effective margins, rather than to expand the market so that people can come in. Disparity. The top 4% spenders pay out half the cash. Then there is no diversity of brokers or even publishers. But I argue, still in private, that the head count is there unproductive because publishers lack the tools to see what they are selling. Far from a new idea, see what Bloomberg did for bond information. Just oh so very far from anywhere people suss regulated markets, so a bit hard to get going. Publicly, and this is the real reason for my passion: I think independent publishers must be given a fair chance. You are reading this I presume because one man struck out on his own. Special stuff, eh, straight dope, good to read? Bit unusual, that happening . . But what if more had a chance, could IPO their inventory, and never have to deal with the business side of publishing? Do you see a lot of ads in GP+? There should be more, that much is true. But if Joe has to manage a salesfloor or even an agent, you loose his talent and concentration, you gain only the admin overheads and commissions and always a staffing churn, and turn Joe into what you don’t want to read: a MSM automaton. There is very real reason I never stopped to pursue my original dream.

    Okay, trying to simplify: publishing any magazine is frighteningly expensive. If you do it in print, you commit life changing (lottery, even) sums for years. You still spank your wallet even if on a shoestring writing from your proverbial mom’s basement, because sending out your website costs you better than pocket money. There is such a gap between having a good discourse on Joe’s blog and him profiting that it’s unfunny. (If you don’t know already, I run such numbers for a living for 20 years) But, but but, the sole “inanimate” thing I love is the talk I get here. I’m silly for it. Also it has never been spoiled. I learned it’s so easy to speak your mind in print without taking a jab at someone, here, in this place. I was I guess very upset about some other things, but still, it’s where you learn which influences you, not the lesson, but how it came. It’s for free, this positive discussion thing, so step up!

    Bottom line: can we please either have a proper good talk, or instead at least respect the cost and time this place consumes for Joe?

  46. Maybe, Perez was the subject of a US Government mind control experiment that uses the harmonic frequencies generated by an F1 engine at high revs to transmit thoughts into the mind of the subject.

    Of course this technology has been reverse engineered from alien spacecraft captured by the US and held at Area 51.

    The Men In Black have decided that F1 is the ultimate proving ground for alien technology because no one will realise that the advances are actually coming from extra-terrestrial sources. Materials that bend during a race but not in a static test, stalling a wing by adjusting airflow and most amazingly making a car perform better by pointing the exhaust gases forward into the airstream.

    Of course don’t get me started on CFD technology and this is all done with Bernie’s approval as the New World Order shadow government has promised him absolute control of F1 for life is he allows them to carry out these experiments.

    On the other hand, it could be just as simple as the guy made an early career mistake by trying too hard to not make a mistake…nah…should never let the facts get in the way of a good story…

    1. …..and this is a clone of Bernie. He actually died in an auto accident in 1998. Me thinks we’ll never be rid of the guy 🙂

  47. F1 and the teams are businesses and all the personalities involved are grown-ups. Some of the them might act like children and make bad decisions but that is beside the point. They are all realists. Is there anyone involved in the circus who it didn’t suit for Ferrari to win in Malaysia? I notice the word conspiracy being used here. It’s the wrong word. Convenience is a much better word. The driving error was a mistake but Perez was still very quick. Both he and Alonso were very good on the day.

  48. Surely all that needs to be done to prove this case is for Perez’s lap times to be produced along with the time of the message from the pits. If he didn’t slow after the message it was not team orders. Of course if he did slow that would change things.

    It would also show whether he made a mistake because he was pushing or lost concentration because he had eased off. People can spin it either way but the evidence that should be available would end any speculation.

  49. Ferrari brings this sort of thing on themselves–they have a record fixing races and strict team orders within the business in the last few years. They have proven time and time again they see F1 as a business first–sport second. The Italian nation puts so much pressure on them to be successful. They need to look back to the racing spirit of the great man–who was a real racer.

    Perez has shown his talent in the past–now the car is actually very good.

    Who knows what happened–I saw the birth of a new star who will win in the future.

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